1. Explanations of who was invited and why they couldn’t come (all five of them)
2. Mocking of clothing choices: My younger brother told my older brother that his shirt looked like blue striped pajamas—this of course became a running gag for the rest of the evening. The mocked brother considered rolling up his sleeves as a solution.
3. Trepidation about eating sushi and eventually settling for teriyaki steak; inability to use chopsticks
4. Being told my “hair looks good?” by my younger brother, as though this had previously been a point of contention for me
5. Five prank calls to my other older brother, who lives down South, as soon as we got back to my house. The voice mails left consisted completely of quotes from Point Break and Rounders.
6. A riddle: Name your top 10 favorite movies that start with the letter “E.” My younger brother, who had previously been asked this question, wanted us to guess which movies he chose. When we couldn’t guess the last one successfully, he gave the following hints: “It was incredibly important in my formative years”; “One of the words is part of an alliterative nickname for Russia”; and “You will KILL YOURSELF if you can’t guess this.” The movie ended up being Empire Strikes Back, though Ernest Goes to Camp was one of the guesses.
7. In succession, much discussion over a running debate in our childhood about whether Luke Skywalker tosses his light saber into the air before he does a flip off the plank over the Sarlacc Pit or after. The first time we saw this movie on VHS, there was a thunderstorm that shut off the power at that exact moment. Strangely, my younger brother also knew what year A New Hope premiered on TV.
8. Trekking across the street to a bar for an after-dinner drink in the rain with no umbrellas…jokes that the rain was God’s promotion for the movie Noah
9. My fiancé’s willingness to sit in a chair that was soaked because of a hole in the bar’s roof. (“That’s probably illegal, but I don’t mind.”)
10. Ordering of highly alcoholic beverages with masculine names like “Daddy Hatten,” which inevitably led to disappointment when the Manhattans were served in effeminate Manhattan cocktail glasses
11. A debate over the best Batman of all time. My choice of Michael Keaton was highly unpopular. My fiancé’s impressions of Michael Keaton quoting TLC lyrics in The Other Guys was not.
12. A guessing game over who sang a certain song playing in the background at the bar after my older brother claimed he owned the CD in college but didn’t know who the artist was.
13. Stating that a particular song played at the bar was “in my range,” and much mockery over that statement for the rest of the evening.
14. My older brother’s genuine joy at learning that they sold that Daddy Hatten Manhattan beverage by the barrel
15. Once back at my apartment, an immediate change into sports-themed and Homer Simpson pajamas. After watching the comic Louis CK’s denunciation of the term “wife beater” on SNL, my older brother revealed that he was wearing one under the striped “pajama shirt.”
16. Much discussion about what future baseball games they’d be attending
17. An earnest attempt on my part to share Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show jokes about the Sixers losing 26 games in a row that was met with responses like “This isn’t funny.” (My brothers are Philadelphia sports fans.)
18. The dessert and board games menu: Yuenglings (one of which was spilled on the floor and was cleaned up by me while my older brother, who had spilled it, told me that I was doing a “great job”), Old-Fashioneds, Laphroaig (my fiancé’s “birthday gift to himself.” It was my birthday), Tostitos and Salsa (some of which ended up on the TV remote).
19. Ice cream cake eaten with hands.
20. While playing Apples to Apples, channel surfing that settled on Scarface and I Love You, Man.
21. A Will Ferrell-doing-Harry Caray impression that lasted hours.
22. Another riddle, posed by my younger brother to my incredibly intoxicated older brother:
Younger brother: “Hey, I have an idea: I’ll name an actor and you tell me your top-three movies by that actor…”
Older brother, lying back in chair, eyes half open: “Sounds good! I’m in!”
Younger brother: “OK: Will Ferrell.”
Older brother (loudly because he’d fallen asleep): “Eh!?”
23. Long talks with my older brother about lawn care.
24. The next morning, before brunch: “Wait, do we have to get dressed for this?” (As in, “We can’t go in our Homer Simpson pajamas?”)
25. A grand gesture made by my fiancé while I was brushing my teeth: the giving away of several old DVDs that my brothers turned into a “movie draft.”
26. “No, we don’t want to go to the art museum.”
27. Much talk of which athlete wears the number 36 (I couldn’t tell you which names they gave because my brain goes somewhere else when this happens.)
28. Both dirty and racist jokes.
29. A rendition of Lionel Richie’s greatest hits while standing in line for the restaurant.
30. A very detailed discussion of doing taxes.
31. Eating food that had fallen on the floor (“Five-second rule!”) twice: off a vintage-clothing store foyer and off the floor of an old (and very busy) diner.